Traveling with a baby for the first time involves some (or may be a lot of) planning. A lot of questions will come to mind like: how will my baby cope to stay on my lap during the flight especially if your baby is very energetic as my baby, how are we going to manage the food to ensure that my baby still gets the nutritional needs even while on holiday, how am I going to manage the baby’s sleeping patterns to ensure that it will not be a hassle back home to continue with his normal routine, and loads of other questions which might steer away parents to go on a holiday. But fear not because if you choose the right holiday, things can be quite easy or rather manageable.
As a first holiday with a baby our natural choice was to embark on a cruise ship. The itinerary of the cruise ship itself was not very important but since my husband and I love to travel we still wanted to go to places of interest to us while being accommodating for the baby. So we chose the Greek Isles.
As soon as we stepped onto the ship we immediately noticed how family friendly the cruise ship was. The crew gives particular attention to the children – greeting them with a smile every where we go. Having an attention seeker baby like mine, it made him feel important and loved flirting with the people around us.
Thankfully we opted for a room with a picture window which made it easier for our baby to know when its day and night. He also loved it just looking through the window staring at the sea and seeing the patrol boat taking the cruise ship into the port.
Feeding the baby was super easy because food on the ship was available at any time of the day and the selection was huge. My then 9 month old preferred solids rather than puree food which made it easier. I would just order fish when dining at one of the a’ la carte restaurants and easily cut it into small pieces, or serve him something from the buffet. There were lots of food which were easy to offer to my baby such as scrambled eggs, omelette, cereal and fruit for breakfast; rice with bolognese, thinly cut chicken pieces, vegetables, fish, pasta with sauce and any kind of soft meat which most of the times I served it to him with mashed potatoes as it makes it soft and easier for him to swallow. For babies who are still on puree food some cruise liners can also puree food for your baby upon your request.
The good thing on being on a cruise ship is that everything is with you. If the baby gets tired you can go to your room for a nap unless he likes to sleep comfortably in his stroller. When the little one needs to waste some energy you can take him to the kids play area or the swimming pool. There would also be special kids entertainment organised everyday targeting different age groups.
In the evening we used to go to the theater to watch a show which our baby used to love and some times it also served as a sleep aid 😊. After the show we used to go at one of the bars for a drink and then to a restaurant for dinner. When the baby is still awake he would just enjoy his time with us wherever we go. On other days when he would be exhausted after a fun day out with his mummy and daddy, he would sleep in his stroller. Luckily our baby doesn’t bother much with noise while asleep so could take him along anywhere we go even to watch a live band in one of the bars.
We have made a conscious choice not to disembark from the cruise ship at every stop. We thought that some places we would rather avoid to visit as it might not be very easy to go around with a stroller. We loved our visit to Mykonos, Santorini and Rhodes, the easiest of which proved to be Rhodes. As our baby was not yet at walking stage, we have also made use of the baby carrier when the baby got bored in the stroller and wanted to be carried.
More details about this trip in another post! 🙂